Chiki Pérez and Maitane Melero, champions of Spain of 10,000 meters in Torrevieja

Chiki Pérez and Maitane Melero have shown their good form at the start of the outdoor season leading up to the Tokyo Games. This is the goal of the athlete from the Cárnicas Serrano Athletics Club, who has been proclaimed champion of Spain of 10,000 this Saturday in Torrevieja. The manchego stopped the clock at 27: 59.45 seconds, a personal best, and a great record for his possible qualification for the Olympic event through the ranking system. In addition, registration gives you access to the 10,000-meter European Cup to be held on May 5 in the English town of Birmingham.

The athlete from Carrión de Calatrava, who was already proclaimed Champion of Spain of ten thousand meters in 2017, has dominated the test from kilometer 5, at which time he was only in the lead with the hare hired by the organization. From kilometer 6, the Serrano athlete has run alone to the finish line where he has achieved the gold medal ahead of Jesús Ramos (28:25) and Raúl Celada (28.25), silver and bronze respectively. In addition to the podium, they achieved minimum for Birmingham Jorge Blanco and Yago Rojo.

In the women’s category, the goal, in addition to the podium, was the minimum for the Birmingham European Cup, set at 33: 00.00. Once the hares had been removed, at 2km, Claudia Estévez took the lead in the race, until km 7, when marathon runner Marta Galimany, Spanish time record holder on the track last year, decided to attack. Only three athletes were able to keep up with his change of pace: Venezuelan Daniely Brea, and Spanish Maitane Melero and Meritxell Soler. Marta, Maitane and Meritxell would share the podium, although in the absence of a kilometer the minimum of the European Cup was slowly moving away. In the absence of 300 m, the Navarrese, the current runner-up of Spain of 10,000 in 2019, twice Spanish champion of 5,000, launched herself for the gold medal. Maitane Melero was proclaimed champion of Spain in the 10,000m with 33: 07.96, followed by Marta Galimany (33: 11.41) who achieved her first podium on the track and by Meritxell Soler (33: 14.19).

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In the sub23 category, Clara Viñarás acted as a hare in the final B of the Spanish Championship, where the vast majority of the athletes in this category were, with the aim of leading her teammates to the minimum of the Bergen Sub23 European Championship (35: 00.00). Ana Patricia Campos, who made her debut in the distance, stuck to the hare to achieve that goal and for 8 kilometers she followed the Madrilenian like clockwork, to then sail the last ten minutes alone. The goal was more than achieved, champion of Spain with 34: 22.71 and a minimum for Norway. After her came Carlota Rodes, who also achieved the minimum sub23 with 34: 56.53. The bronze sub23 went to Alicia Berzosa (35: 25.14).

In the men’s category, a European minimum sub23 was also achieved. Eduardo Menacho got it, after a race that had two leaders. On the one hand, Houssame Benabbou, who had been framed in the final B, went out in search of the best possible time alone. Behind him, Ibrahim Chakir played a hare to a group in which, little by little, everyone, except Eduardo Menacho, was taking down. With four laps remaining, with Chakir on the track, Menacho overtook Benabbou. Behind them, Diego Bravo closed the gap, but the first three positions would not move. In this way, Eduardo Menacho, with 29: 10.82, achieved his particular triple crown, after winning the U23 cross title and 3,000 PC. The Aragonese was proclaimed champion of Spain sub23 of 10,000m, with personal best and European minimum for Norway (it is 29: 27.00). The sub23 silver went to Diego Bravo (29: 35.74) and the bronze to Miguel Baidal (29: 44.69).

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As for the 5,000m Spanish Championship, women were the absolute protagonists with great records and three minimums for the European U20 Championship in Tallinn. In the sub20 category, Carla Domínguez won her third title of champion of Spain sub20 in 2021, after taking the cross country and 3,000m on the indoor track. The Catalan launched an attack impossible to follow after the starting gun and signed a record of 16: 09.05, a championship record, second best Spanish mark in history (behind Angelines Rodríguez’s 15: 49.26 in 1988), best European brand of the year, second best world brand of the year and European minimum under 20 for Tallinn. Second was María Forero, whose 16: 53.34 are also minimal for the European U20. The third place went to Nara Elipa (17: 08.93), who two years after being proclaimed runner-up in Spain under 18 returned to get on the podium this time in the under 20 category. In men, the title of champion of Spain went to Manuel Jiménez (14: 52.28), silver for Marc Fernández (14: 53.28) and bronze for Adrián de la Orden (14: 54.10), in a race that El Mehdi won El Nabaoui (14: 51.07).

In the U18 category, Mariam Benkert opened the championship in style. The Asturian not only won the title of champion of Spain of 5,000m, but her 16: 49.42 meant a record for the championships, a minimum for the European sub20, in addition to making her the second Spanish sub18 in history to drop from the 17 minutes, just 9 seconds behind the best Spanish record in history (16: 40.04 for Alicia González in 2001). Second was Ania San Román (17: 51.43) and third Merem Gabriel Rodríguez (18: 09.97). In men U18, the first three surpassed the previous record of the championships, although for history the 14: 49.34 of Mesfin Escamilla will remain, the eighth Spaniard of all time, who took the title of champion of Spain ahead of Ronaldo Olivo (14: 54.61) and Unai Naranjo (14: 56.82).

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In addition, before the competition a control of 3,000m obstacles was held. In the female category, the victory went to Maite González (10: 18.63) and second June Arbeo (10: 18.82). In men, first was Alejandro Quijada (8: 55.21), second Alejandro Ortuño (9: 19.40) and third Rubén Bellovi (9: 23.77)


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